Girl, 17, killed in suspected DUI crash while returning home from school

6 month ago

Deer Park news, Texas news.

Authorities in Deer Park are investigating a suspected DUI crash that claimed the young life of a 17-year-old girl returning home from school on Monday.

Victim Marissa Burke was on her way home from Deer Park High School with her sister when a pickup veered into the sidewalk and hit her.

55-year-old Leland Benfrank Smith was identified as the driver of the pickup truck that lost control, crashed into a light pole, and then into the girl.

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  • The teen fought for her life at Memorial Hermann Hospital since Monday’s crash. Her death sparked grief and shock throughout the community as they prayed for a miracle before she was removed from life support.

    “The family all came together to see her one last time and made the decision to remove all the life-sustaining machinery and let her pass naturally. Her passing was very peaceful and quick.” Burke’s family said in a statement.

    “Marissa was a beautiful young lady with a wonderful sense of humor, was always full of life and love for her friends and family.”

    Smith, who failed a sobriety test at the scene of the crash and was arrested on intoxication assault, faces additional charges following Burke’s death.